The Licensed Building Practitioners Tribunal has fined a designer $2000, and ordered them to pay a further $2000 in costs, for failing to advise the need for a building consent in relation to designs they provided. The plans included the installation of a shower, the installation of a new door and sealing of another.

The LBPT held that works altering the structure by requiring the insertion of a new lintel was work which required consent under the Building Act.

It further noted that the plans that were sent to the clients should have contained a note or caution that a consent may be required for the works depicted. Additionally, the plans should have been labelled as “For costing purposes only”, and not construction.

The Act states that a designer is responsible for ensuring that the plans and specifications, or the advice in question, are sufficient to result in the building work complying with the building code. In this regard, the designer was found to be negligent.

When planning, or making modifications to structures, special care should be taken whether compliance is required under the building code. If there is concern that work has been undertaken without compliance, it is important a practitioner experienced in this area is consulted.

Alan Knowsley
Construction Lawyer